Top 5 tips to implement successful change

Change is more prevalent than ever and so is the need to create impact and obtain employee buy-in. Organizations are learning this the hard way: projects that fail because people were not brought up to speed with the change, new processes that are not followed, and expensive technologies that create more “noise” than help the organization. In this blog post, we’d like to share the importance of change management and our top 5 tips to manage change in organizations and help you prevent these pitfalls.

1. Start early

Don’t leave change management to the last minute. Changing people’s minds and building buy-in takes time. Involve a change manager in the upfront conversations with your stakeholders to, for instance, assess the degree of change, ensure the right sponsorship is in place, and start developing the right strategy to engage stakeholders.

2. Communicate effectively

A single meeting or memo to announce the change is not enough. Effective communication involves the constant repetition of your vision via different channels, involving stakeholders in developing the solution, creating targeted and actionable messages, and asking the right people to deliver the message. Don’t communicate if you think your plans may change.

3. Engage stakeholders

Map your supporters and opponents and engage them in a dialogue early on. Discuss how the change impacts them, when they can expect to see changes in their work, and have a plan to engage them (e.g., involve key people during requirement gathering or user acceptance testing). Once again, don’t wait until the end of your change initiative to engage with your audience.

4. Offer support at every level

The project team will not be successful if working in isolation. Engage the help of ‘change champions’–key individuals throughout the organization who are close to the individuals affected by the change. For your training strategy, before investing too much money, consider what will work best for your organization. In our experience, short user guides, promo videos, and instructor-led training work best.

5. Measure your results

Always define your success measures upfront and combine “direct” and “indirect” methods. The goal is to understand if your program yielded the results you were looking for. For instance, conduct a survey to collect people’s opinion about the training (indirect measurement) but also check how many people logged in to the new system following the training (direct measurement).

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